Speaking the Truth in Love
Sheol and Hades
Questions from our callers over the years have indicated that there is some confusion over the place called Sheol or Hades. We hope to study this place in detail tonight.
1. SHEOL AND HADES DEFINED
Sheol - It is a place of conscious existence after death, one side of which is occupied by the suffering, unrighteous dead separated by a great chasm from the other side peopled by the righteous dead enjoying their reward (Vines Expository Dictionary 1984).
Hades - It never denotes the grave, nor is it the permanent region of the lost; in point of time it is, for such, intermediate between decease and the doom of Gehenna (Vines Expository Dictionary 1984).
2. PASSAGES THAT REFER SHEOL OR HADES
Genesis 37:35 - "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning"
Psalm 16:10 - "For you will not leave my soul in Sheol (the abode of the dead), nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption."
Psalm 31:17 - "Let them be silent in the grave"
Isaiah 14:12-15 - "Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths (recesses) of the Pit.
Luke 16:23 - "And being in torments in Hades"
Acts 2:27 - "For You will not leave my soul in Hades"
Acts 2:31 - "that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption"
Job 24:19 - "So the grave consumes those who have sinned"
Hosea 13:14 - "I will ransom them from the power of the grave" and "O Grave, I will be your destruction!"
1 Corinthians 15:55 - "O Death, where is your victory?"
Revelation 1:18, 20:13-15 - "And I have the keys of Hades (the unseen realm) and of Death"
Revelation 6:8 - "And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed him"
Revelation 20:13-15 - "and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them" and "Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire"
3. OTHER RELATED PASSAGES
4. THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
5. JUDGEMENT DAY
Tartarus Signifies to consign to Tartarus, which is neither Sheol nor hades nor hell, but the place where those angels whose special sin referred to in that passage are confined "to be reserved unto judgement"; the region described as "pits of darkness" (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6) (Vines Expository Dictionary 1984).
Paradise - Heaven itself; the dwelling place of God; beyond the heavens of the natural creation (Vines Expository Dictionary 1984). Found in three places in the new testament (Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:4, Revelation 2:7).
Gehenna - A place (or state) of everlasting punishment; hell of unquenchable fire [Matthew 5:22, 29, 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-47, Luke 12:5, James 3:6 (Matthew 13:42, 25:46, Philippians 3:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Hebrews 10:39, 2 Peter 2:17, Jude 13, Revelation 2:11, 19:20, 20:6, 10, 14, 21:8)].
Purgatory - This term is not found in the Bible. It refers to a false Roman catholic doctrine, where it is said to be a place or state of punishment wherein souls of those who die in God's grace may make satisfaction for past sins and so become fit for heaven (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 1983).
A thought that continues to come to my mind has to do with Sheol or Hades. As we have studied tonight, this place is the abode of the souls of those who have died. Once one dies, while he waits for judgement, he will be confined this abode; either being in torment or being comforted. The really tragic thought is that we will all know what our destiny will be while we are waiting for judgement. Hades will be a terrible place to be for those who have not obeyed the Lord's commandments. Those who are unfaithful, will wait knowing that their fate will be everlasting punishment. What a terrible hopeless feeling that will be. Knowing it is too late to do anything to make yourself right with God and looking forward to being pronounced unworthy at the time of judgement. Hades will be a terrible place for the unfaithful, and Hell will be even worse. God does not want anyone to perish, but wants us all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God is providing us all motivation to obey Him and be saved! We need to follow Him to avoid eternal death and to gain eternal life. We do not know what may happen tonight or tomorrow. Why not obey the Lord tonight and begin a life of service to Him? That is the only way Hades will be a comfort for you and I. We hope to see you next time on "Speaking the Truth in Love".